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Not our Own Power

Filed Under: Luther's Devotions
When the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you
from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceed from
the Father, he shall testify of me. 
John 15 : 26

We have often heard that the gospel is the proclamation that no man can become just by means of the law; that God has sent his dear Son to shed his blood and die, since men cannot by their own power and works cancel their sins and get rid of
them. But though I hear this preaching, I do not at once believe it. Therefore God adds his Holy Spirit, who impresses this
preaching upon the heart, so that it abides there and lives. It
is a faithful saying that Christ has accomplished everything, has
removed sin and overcome every enemy, so that through him we are lords over all things. But the treasure lies in one pile; it is not yet distributed, nor invested. The Holy Spirit must come and teach our hearts to believe. When we feel that God has thus helped us and given us the treasure, everything goes well, and man's heart rejoices in God. When the Holy Spirit has impressed upon the heart that God is kind and gracious toward it, it believes that God can no more be angry, and it
grows so happy and so bold that, for God's sake, it performs
and suffers all things possible. In this way you are to become acquainted with the Holy Spirit. You know to what purpose he is given and what his office is, namely, to invest the treasure — Christ and all he has;
the Holy Spirit will enfold him in your heart so that he may be your own. But in all this we ought to exercise sense and understanding that a man receiving the Holy Spirit is not at once perfect, insensible to sin and pure in all respects. We do
not preach that the Holy Spirit has completed and finished his work, but that he has only begun it and is now constantly engaged in it. Consequently you will not find a man who is
without sin and sorrow, and full of righteousness and joy, and who serves everybody freely. The Scriptures indeed tell us
that the office of the Holy Spirit is to redeem from sin and
fear; but that does not say that this is altogether accomplished. The Christian at times feels his sin and the fear of death, but he has a helper, the Holy Spirit, who comforts and strengthens him.

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